Our first day of hunting whitetail in Idaho was beyond our expectations. We rose at 4:45 a.m. to be out the door by 6:00 a.m. A breakfast of egg whites and peanut butter for Jeremy, the full menu for Adam and a light piece of toast for Ruth, was just what everyone needed to begin the day.
We left camp at first light and much to our surprise, the deer were moving through the meadow within 500 yds. from camp, including a respectable 5×5 that we tried to get a shot on but found his rutting behavior to be less than conducive to the time to needed to get cameras and gear set up. Watching him rut and move his does was an optimistic sight for our first few minutes of day one.
Continuing on our original plan to head to a large meadow one mile from camp, we found the deer actively moving in the woods as they moved to more security cover. Unique to any other whitetail hunting I have done, these deer are seemingly less “spooky” than most. When they see a hunter, they certainly look to retreat to safety, yet they also turn and look much like a Mule Deer.
Sam’s Meadow was one of those iconic sights, that includes a meadow six hundred yards long by a couple hundred yards wide and an old historic cabin that dates back to the early 1900s, serving as a perfect hunting blind. Not long into our sit, we located a handful of deer at that far end of the meadow, at over 400 yds. away.
With the rut in full speed, it did not take long for a respectable buck to enter the meadow and begin chasing the does. As he chased and fed on the far end, at well over 500 yds., we made the determination that if he would in fact come closer, we would try getting mom a shot.
As the meadow continued to brighten with daylight, we knew it would only be a matter of time before the deer left for the cover of the dark timber. At a range of just over 400 yds., we made the determination that Mom would shoot my gun as I had it dialed in for her at that distance.
With a light squeeze of the trigger, the .338 Lapua met its mark and Mom delivered a perfect shot. She has now added a beautiful 4×4 Idaho whitetail to the list of adventures she has been on.
The day continued with some of the most beautiful weather this area has ever seen for November. During mid-day back at camp as we helped with some chores, the temps hit 60º.
Our evening sit in Sam’s Meadow provided us the opportunity to haul out Mom’s deer on the back of a horse, a sight you don’t see very often.
The deer movement was late and very close to dark, possibly due to the major weather front moving in. With the darkness and depth of the clouds, we predict snow by morning.